What is a thesis statement?

What Is a Thesis?

How often have you had your essays under-graded because of a missing or wrong thesis statement? We bet every student comes across the challenge of discerning what a thesis is, and gets acquainted with this element of an essay in a sometimes challenging manner. If the paper does not have a thesis statement, it means that you have failed to communicate the main argument of your paper and to foreshadow all minor ideas. Without such an element, the audience may feel distracted by competing arguments and thoughts, and may fail to receive a holistic impression of your essay or research paper. Not sure how to make an effective thesis statement? Let’s first clarify what it actually is!

What is a thesis statement, after all?!

Not sure what a thesis statement is? Then you are surely in the right place and in the right time – we resolve all secrecy and confusion about what a thesis is, and teach you how to compose an effective thesis statement.

A thesis statement actually represents a sentence (sometimes a couple of sentences) expressing the core idea of your essay or formulating the question you are intending to answer in this work. The value of a clear and concise thesis statement can hardly be exaggerated: first, it provides a snapshot of your piece of writing to the reader, clarifying what he or she should expect further on in the text.

How did thesis statement emerge?

The expressive writing tradition dates back to the Ancient Greek times, so a thesis statement is what Aristotle called “statement of the issue” over two millennia ago. Thesis statement is instrumental in any type of writing, since it helps to create a persuasive appeal. The word “thesis” translated from Greek means “setting down,” which in fact reveals the function of a thesis statement very eloquently – it sets the focus of the essay or research paper by making a concise argument that will be defended throughout further writing. In other words, the thesis statement serves as an anchor provided early in the paper to guide the audience through points made later in the essay. Nevertheless, the significance of thesis should also not be underestimated for the writer; in fact, it also assists the writer as a powerful organizing device to prioritize and select most relevant points for the body of the paper.

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Purposes and functions of a thesis statement

Everybody knows that a thesis statement is important, but what functions does it actually accomplish? Here are some of them:

  • To organize and give order to both the readers and the writer
  • To state the central claim that the essay or research paper
  • To articulate the central argument of the paper as precisely as possible
  • To establish the focus of the paper

In this way, the thesis usually bears the burden of the entire essay. It is the idea pervading through every paragraph of writing, which means that a proper, finished, and polished thesis statement may be composed only after the essay is finalized. The writer should reread what he or she has in the end, revisit the working thesis formulated at the beginning of writing, and rework it if needed to reflect the general idea behind the essay. After this is done, the writer may reread the entire essay once again to see whether all arguments and claims are consistent with that central idea. Only after the completion of these writing process stages, a holistic and cohesive essay may surface.

Thesis statement in an academic essay

In a traditional academic essay, the thesis statement is usually placed as an integral element of the essay’s introduction. The introduction accomplishes three major functions: engaging the readers with the essay’s subject, provision of orientation throughout the essay, and presenting the thesis statement. In such a structure, the thesis statement gives meaning and purpose to the paper. It possesses three components:

  • The context
  • The subject
  • The claim.

It is also vital to note that a thesis statement should not include trivial, obvious claims. It is important to make the case, the rationale for this essay writing, which offers interesting information and insightful assertions regarding a specific topic of interest.

Tips for thesis statement construction

Obviously, stating that a thesis statement is a central idea of the entire writing piece is not enough to guide students through the writing process. Moreover, the composition of a proper thesis depends on the type of an assignment. Check out some final tips from thesispanda writers on proper thesis statement composition:

  • All essay types typically include arguable thesis statements, which is nevertheless not true for descriptive papers
  • All minor arguments included in the thesis must be further expanded in the body of the essay
  • A thesis statement should be sufficient, covering all points included in the essay and reflecting the content in a snapshot
  • The thesis should serve as a controlling idea throughout the paper to avoid deviations to irrelevant claims and arguments

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